Former Olympian Snowboarder And YouTuber Crashes Plane For Clicks; Could Face Jail Time

Former Olympian snowboarder Trevor Jacob, 29, entered a guilty plea to a felony charge of hindering a federal investigation by destroying an airplane’s wreckage after he intentionally crashed. The U.S. Department of Justice claims that Jacob acknowledged in his plea deal that he intentionally wrecked the jet for internet attention and financial gain by falsely reporting that it had lost all power.

On November 24, 2021, Jacob departed in a 1940 Taylorcraft from Lompoc City Airport for Mammoth Lakes, California. In his YouTube video, he had said that he intended to disperse Johnny Strange, his late best friend,’s ashes near Mammoth Lakes. 35 minutes into the journey, Jacob leaped from the aircraft as it was passing over the Los Padres National Forest. Jacob walked to the plane wreckage after parachuting to get the video from the cameras that were installed on the aircraft.

Jacob notified the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about the collision two days later. The organization promptly started an inquiry and told Jacob that he was in charge of keeping the wreckage in tact. Jacob claimed investigators he couldn’t locate the accident scene in the weeks that followed, which was a lie.

Jacobs and a buddy went to the wreckage in a helicopter at the beginning of December. In order to get the plane’s wreckage to Lompoc City Airport, the two flew it to a trailer that was connected to Jacob’s pickup truck. At the airport, Jacob dismantled and destroyed as much of the debris as he could before dumping the pieces into several garbage cans.

The maximum legal term for the offence to which Jacob pled guilty is 20 years in federal prison. In April 2022, the Federal Aviation Administration also suspended his pilot’s license.